Andrea Pirlo is officially out as head coach of Italian giants Juventus after just one year at the helm in his first experience as a top-flight coach.
Juventus confirmed the news on its official channels with messages of “Thank you, Andrea,” a day after reports linked former Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri with a return to the club.
Pirlo led Juventus to the Italian Cup, the Italian Super Cup and qualification to next season’s UEFA Champions League. But more importantly, they were knocked out in the Champions League Round of 16 and they also finished 13 points behind champions Inter Milan in the race for the Serie A title that had seen Juventus win it nine straight years prior to Pirlo’s arrival.
That Champions League berth also came on the last day of the league season and Juventus needed other teams to falter in order to clinch the lucrative qualification by finishing among the top four.
Juventus announce Pirlo’s departure
The statement on the Juventus official site read:
“Thank you, Andrea. These are the first words that all of us need to say at the end of this special experience together.
“A few months ago, Andrea Pirlo, an icon of world football, began his new adventure, his first as a coach.
“To do this, first of all, it takes courage, as well as awareness of one’s own means, especially in a period marked by thousands of difficulties, with the world forced by the pandemic to reinvent its own rules day after day.
“Pirlo has just begun the first steps of what will no doubt become a brilliant career as a coach. An adventure of transformation, seeking, and often managing, to bring his ideas and his experience as a champion on the pitch from the ‘other side’ of the fence.
“Since in football, what counts are the victories, let’s remember them. In the space of a few short months Pirlo’s Juve has raised two trophies: the Italian Supercup and the Coppa Italia. He, as coach, brought home brilliant victories on the most prestigious of fields, from San Siro to Camp Nou.
“For all this, for the courage, the dedication, the passion with which he demonstrated every day, our thanks go to the Maestro, the Coach and to Andrea, that really comes from the heart. As well as our good luck for the future that will surely be a wonderful one.”
Andrea Pirlo issues statement
Pirlo, a former Juventus midfielder, joined the club in the summer of 2020 to take charge of the club’s Under-23 team, but he was surprisingly promoted to head coach of the first team a week later when the club fired Maurizio Sarri in August 2020. Pirlo’s final record in his debut season as a top-flight coach was 35W-8L-10D across all competitions.
He wrote in an Instagram post: “My first season as a manager has ended. It has been an intense, complicated but in any case wonderful year.
“When I was called by Juventus I never thought about the risk I was running, although it was quite evident. Respect for the colors of this shirt and the desire to get involved at the highest levels for the project that was proposed to me prevailed.
“If I had to go back, I would make exactly the same choice, although aware of all the obstacles I encountered in such a difficult period for everyone, which prevented me from planning my intentions and my style of play in the best possible way, but during which I have achieved the objectives that were asked of me.
“This adventure, despite an ending that I did not expect, made it even clearer what I would like my future to be, which I hope is as complete and full of satisfactions as what I experienced as a footballer. It’s time to get back in the game and face new challenges. However, I want to thank the Juventus family and all those who have been close to me this season.”